Leadership: Remembering Warren Bennis

Hola Todos!

Today we remember a true leader, Warren Bennis, who passed away last week.  Professor Bennis was a leadership scholar who penned nearly 30 books, which have explored the importance of judgment, the need for transparency, the importance of being adaptive and the secrets of genius teams.

An excellent tribute published in the Washington Post summarized many of Professor Bennis’ leadership theories:

For Bennis, leadership was a personal journey, something individual and introspective that must be learned through life’s experiences. He was a staunch believer that leaders are made not born, formed out of “crucible” moments and struggles that prepare them to lead. As he wrote in On Becoming a Leader — essential reading for anyone — leadership is about self-discovery and self-expression. “Before people can learn to lead, they must learn something about this strange new world.” For Bennis, leadership was a personal journey, something individual and introspective that must be learned through life’s experiences. He was a staunch believer that leaders are made not born, formed out of “crucible” moments and struggles that prepare them to lead. As he wrote in On Becoming a Leader, leadership is about self-discovery and self-expression. “Before people can learn to lead, they must learn something about this strange new world.”

My favorite line from the quote above is “he was a staunch believer that leaders are made and not born.”  I have linked to Professor Bennis’ ideas three times on DigNuggetville.  The first was, not surprisingly, was to stress leaders are made, not born.  The second was to stand on the shoulders of giants to highlight one of my favorite leadership quotes.  Professor Bennis said,

“Three words leaders have trouble dealing with: ‘I don’t know.’  I think good leadership will often start with questions whose answer is: “I don’t know, but we’re going to find out.”

Finally, in learning to fail…forward, I passed along Professor Bennis’ concept of the crucible.  A crucible is an intense learning experience and for almost all of the leaders profiled in his book Geeks & Geezers, their crucible was a horrible failure. Leaders learn from their (horrible) experiences. They fail, but in failing , they then moved forward with their lives to do something even better than before.  Without the their crucible, these leaders would have never reached this better place without their failure.

Go to a bookstore and pick up something excellent from Professor Bennis today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

Steve Jobs Was Wrong About The Beatles

The Beatles were four of Steve Jobs’ favorite musicians; perhaps only Bob Dylan could rank higher. Jobs confirmed this fact at the end of the famous 2007 All Things D Steve Jobs/Bill Gates interview stating, “I live my live though either a Beatles or a Bob Dylan song” (1 or 1a). It was one of his life’s works, despite all the legal turmoil he experienced with Apple Corps (the music publishing arm of the Beatles), to finally get the Beatles on iTunes in 2010.  Yes, the Beatles were a passion of Steve Jobs; so much so that on more than one occasion, he likened his management philosophy to that of the Beatles.  While he was right about so many things throughout his career, Steve Jobs was wrong about the Beatles.

The following paragraphs will first outline Steve Jobs’ management philosophy and then detail two fatal flaws in his Beatles worldview.  The article will conclude with a glimpse into Jobs’ true intent with his “brutally frank” nature and how Apple has adjusted in the post-Jobs era under Tim Cook’s leadership.

 Steve Jobs’ Beatles Management Philosophy

Perhaps the best exemplar of Steve Jobs’ Beatles management philosophy was expressed during a 2003 60 Minutes interview (2). In brief, Jobs said:

“My model of business is the Beatles.  They were four very talented guys who kept their negative tendencies relatively in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than sum of its parts. And that’s how I see business.  Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of people and we’ve got that here at Pixar and we’ve got that at Apple as well.  So that’s what lets me do this. Well you know, when the Beatles were together, they did truly brilliant innovative work and when they split up, they did good work but it was never the same.  And I see business that way too.  It’s really always a team.” 

Jobs was a master storyteller as any of his keynotes or the 2006 Stanford graduation speech will attest. Many of his stories had reoccurring themes, although Jobs often retold these parables with slight variations. In 2004, Jobs’ Beatles management philosophy resurfaced in an interview with Fast Company journalist Brent Schlender (3):

“My model of management is the Beatles. The reason I say that is because each of the key people in the Beatles kept the others from going off in the directions of their bad tendencies. They sort of kept each other in check. And then when they split up, they never did anything as good. It was the chemistry of a small group of people, and that chemistry was greater than the sum of the parts. And so John kept Paul from being a teenybopper and Paul kept John from drifting out into the cosmos, and it was magic. And George, in the end, I think provided a tremendous amount of soul to the group. I don’t know what Ringo did.”

While Ringo may have got short-changed in this version of the story, one can see some common themes in Jobs’ Beatles metaphor.  First, the team is stronger than the individual as the sum is greater than the parts. Second, individuals may have bad tendencies and there is a need for those negative tendencies to be kept “in check.”

The most interesting variant, as well as, the most unique, can be found in Robert X. Cringely’s 1995 “Lost Interview” (4).  After a back and forth conversation on product development and the evolution of an initial concept to final product, Jobs says:

“…when I was a little kid, there was a widowed man that lived up the street and he was in his 80s and he was a little scary looking and I got to know him a little bit – I think he might have paid me to mow his lawn or something.  One day he said, “Come into my garage I want to show you something.” He pulled out this dusty old rock tumbler with a motor and a coffee can and a band between them and he said, “Come out with me.”  We went out to the back (yard) got some rocks – some regular old ugly rocks.  And we put them in the can with a little bit of liquid and a little bit of grit powder and he closed this can up and turned this motor on and he said, “Come back tomorrow” and this can was making a racket while the stones were (banging around).

I came back the next day and we opened the can and we took out some amazingly beautiful polished rocks.  The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing up against each other, creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out these beautiful polished rocks.  And that has always been my metaphor for a team working really hard on something that they are passionate about.  That it is through the team, through that group of incredibly talented people bumping up against each other having arguments, having fights sometimes and making noise, and working together they polish each other and they polish the ideas and what comes out are these really beautiful stones.” 

Even in this early version of Jobs’ Beatles management philosophy, some common themes reoccur; team over the individual, the sum is greater than the parts, and there needs to be some tension or conflict to achieve the best result.

Two Fatal Flaws

There are two fatal flaws in Steve Jobs’ Beatles management philosophy: first, Jobs only viewed the Beatles from a fan’s perspective, that is, looking from the outside in. The second fatal flaw is that “keeping each other in check” can equates to… “It’s OK to be an asshole to other people.” Each of these fatal flaws will be discussed in turn.

The opposite perspective of outside in, is naturally, the inside looking out and even a causal Beatles historian would say that keeping each other “in check” or the existence of a “healthy tension” among the “Fab 4” would be a gross understatement, particularly in their later years.  In a Jobsian worldview, strong tension, heated discussion, and/or multiple disagreements among the leadership team would eventually produce a result that would be significantly better than if everyone had just sat around and blindly agreed with each other.  The Beatles did have a healthy tension during their earlier albums, particularly between John and Paul, but that tension went unchecked, turned toxic, and eventually stifled collaboration among the four Beatles leading to the band’s break up.

Once the Beatles grew beyond their chart-topping, pop-friendly albums, the boys from Liverpool created three albums, namely Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper that can easily be described as “greater than the sum of its parts.”  In other words, at this time in the band’s history, the Beatles were still collaborating as a team and it was rare to have a song completely dominated by one member of the band.  At that time, there was a healthy collaborative tension and the Beatles pushed each other to create the most cutting edge music in their field.

Unfortunately for the fans, the health tension did not last, turned toxic and the Beatles stopped working as a team.  While Pepper can be listed in the “the sum is greater than its parts” category, the landmark album represented a turning point in the history of the Beatles.  In multiple interviews describing the milestone album, George and Ringo confessed that their involvement  was not the same as previous Beatles works.  In other words, Paul’s or John’s individual dominance, as well as the tipping point from healthy tension to unhealthy tension, was the beginning of the end.

Post Pepper, that period (the critical misstep of the Magical Mystery Tour EP & Film, The White Album, Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, and Abby Road) can be characterized, as the parts are greater than the whole. During this time in the band’s history, it was rare for the band to create a song together.  Rather, it was much more common to have individual band members write and record songs and lobby to get them on the record.  Despite their team enhancing “corporate retreat” to Rishikesh, of which most of the White Album was produced during this time, the lads soon fell into old habits of back-biting and snarking each other’s work.  At one point during the production of the White Album, producer Sir George Martin recalled, “I remember having three studios operating at the same time.  Paul was doing some overdubs in one.  John was in another, and I was recording some horns…in a third” (5).

During the White Album sessions, a famous story in Beatles lore perfectly illustrates the parts are greater than the whole argument.  George was so upset with John and Paul after a 14-hour session where they half-heartily played on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” that he asked Eric Clapton to play on the track.  Clapton recalls, that he knew the other Beatles “wouldn’t like it” but George insisted stating, “It’s nothing to do with them.  It’s my song, and I’d like you to play on it.” (5).

Please understand, some of the most beloved songs by the Beatles occurred during this later time period.  In reality, however, these were not really Beatles songs but rather a Paul, or John or George song completed with the world’s best backing band.  Jobs’ management philosophy emphasizes the team over the individual, yet for the latter half of the Beatles existence, there was no team; the tension and the infighting were too strong for that to happen.  No one was able to keep each other in check, their negative tendencies were not balanced out and only Paul wanted the band stay together.  With the inside out view of the band, Jobs’ Beatles management philosophy does not hold.

Jobs second fatal flaw is well documented, as it was not uncommon for Steve to verbally cut someone down (6).  This second fatal flaw in his Beatles management philosophy is that “keeping each other in check” equates to… it’s OK to be an asshole to other people.  Jobs was famous for his brutal honesty which we know he used for effect to add some grit power into a conversation.  In the authorized biography, Walter Isaacson gave Jobs the last word at the very end of the book.  In his commentary, Jobs called his brutal honesty “the price of admission” (7):

“I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell it to their face.  It’s my job to be honest.  I know what I’m talking about, and I am usually turn out to be right.  That’s the culture I tried to create.  We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same.  And we’ve had some rip-roaring arguments, where we are yelling at each other, and it’s some of the best of times I’ve ever had.  I feel totally comfortable saying “Ron that store looks like shit” in front of everyone else.  Or I might say, “God, we really fucked up the engineering on this” in front of the person that’s responsible.  That’s the ante for being in the room:  You’ve got to be able to be super honest.  Maybe there’s a better way, a gentelmen’s club where we all wear ties and speak in the Brahmin language and velvet-coded words, but I don’t know that way because I am middle-class from California (page 567). 

Perhaps it was Jobs’ outside in view of the Beatles that formed his brutal honest equals to being an asshole view of dealing with people.  He was a big Beatles fan had to be aware of the conflict among the Fab 4.  As a passionate fan, however, Jobs could have mistaken that the reason the band created such amazing music was because of the tension or the forceful nudging of each other; they kept each other in check.

I could not disagree more on this point.  I believe in honesty and I believe in being direct, but at no point do I believe anyone has to belligerent to get one’s point across. In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, perhaps Dr. Maya Angelou said it best (8):

“I know there are people who say, I’m brutality frank. Well, one doesn’t have to be brutal about anything. One can tell the truth and tell it in such a way that the listener hears it and really welcomes it.” 

A plausible theory is that the Jobsian brutal honesty was more a management tactic than pure personality. To further emphasize this point, a recent 60 Minutes interview with David Kelly, founder of IDEO and dear friend of Steve Jobs touched on this issue (9).  In the interview, Charlie Rose asked:

What is the biggest misconception about him?”

And Kelly responded:

I think the misconception about him was…he was kind of malicious.  He was not trying to be mean to people.  It wasn’t…he was just trying to get things done.  And you just had to learn to react to that.”

Apple in the Post-Jobs Era

As an academic interested in leadership, I have been studying Apple for the better part of two decades. I believe that Kelly’s assessment is the more accurate picture of Jobs. That said, I am not so sure Jobs understood the downside effect of this tactic. In other words, as with the Beatles, brutal honesty could break up the band. Tim Cook has the same view as David Kelly and learned to translate Jobs’ brutal honesty.  In a handful of times in the authorized biography, but particularly when Jobs returned from the Liver transplant, Cook often called Jobs’ brutal honestly “his passion” and attributed it to Jobs always striving for the best. On his first day back from second major medical leave, Jobs called a meeting and ripped into the upper management team.  As described by Isaacson (7):

“But was truly telling was the pronouncement he made to a couple of friends late that afternoon. ‘I had the greatest time being back today, he said.  “I can’t believe how creative I’m feeling, and how the whole team is.”  Tim Cook took it in stride.  ‘I’ve never seen Steve hold back from expressing his view or passion,” he later said.  “But that was good.” (489)

The Apple of today does not operate in the Beatles management philosophy; that was Steve’s mental model, not Tim’s (10).  Over the past 18 months but particularly in October 2012 when Apple and Scott Forestall parted ways, Tim Cook has been striving for more honesty and less brutality. Forestall is a brilliant engineer and was one of the key architects of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, yet Forestall (sometimes called mini-Steve) was more interested in politics, power and fiefdoms.  Since iOS powered devices are responsible for over 80 percent of Apple’s revenues, Forestall felt he was more important than the team (i.e., the parts are greater than the whole).  Other influential managers, by their actions, indirectly confirmed Forestall’s worldview.  For instance, Bob Mansfield unexpectantly retired in early 2012 then un-retired to another senior manager role once Forestall was ousted.  Jony Ive did not want to be in the same room nor work with Forestall.  In a Jobsian worldview, Forestall was the tension, the grit powder that Jobs believed would eventually result in a better song. Cook sacrificed Forestall for the sake of the team, as the tension was unhealthy, unchecked and holding Apple back from its next stage of new songs.

I am optimistic on Apple’s future, as I believe Cook is unafraid of ghost of Steve Jobs.  While Forestall’s ousting was clearly a major indicator of Tim’s willingness to do what is best for the future of Apple, it is also a major indicator that Tim does not envision himself as just the torch carrier of Apple’s past. Beyond the October 2012 senior management shakeup, there are other indicators as well such as, Apple’s corporate social responsibility in China, the disbursement of dividends, taking on debt, and charitable giving just to name a few.  Cook knows the Apple of the past cannot be the growth engine of the Apple of the future. If the rapid and radical update to iOS 7 is any indicator, I am optimistic that Apple will not be resting on its laurels in the Tim Cook era; Cook wants the tension to be healthy, the collaboration among the band leaders to be strong, and most important, the songs to be amazing for years to come.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

From Burberry to Apple: Angela Ahrendts is headed to Cupertino

Hola Todos!

While everyone thought Apple would have interesting things to say (and debut) on October 22nd, no one expected the announcement of Angela Ahrendts as Apple’s new Sr. VP of Retail Operations (starting sometime in Spring 2014).   Needless to say, the news caused a title wave of posts in the blogosphere, including:

Apple and China (via Daring Fireball)

Five videos: Tim Cook taps Burberry’s CEO to run Apple retail (via Apple 2.0)

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts: What the pundits are saying (via Apple 2.0)

At the intersection of fashion and technology, is retail chief Angela Ahrendts Apple’s next CEO? (via GigaOM)

Can Angela and Tim Create Apple 3.0 — Or Not? (via Steve Tappin on LinkedIN)

 

Not surprising being the Apple geek that I am, I too jumped into the fray:

Apple hires Burberry CEO to head its retail division (via the LA Times)

 

When I saw the news Tuesday morning, I put a few thoughts together:

(1) Apple really needs help in the retail dept – since Apple fired John Browett in October 2012, they have been leaderless in the retail area.  Ron Johnson made the Apple stores what they are but there has been little to no innovation on that front since Johnson left 2011.

(2) Angela Ahrendts knows technology – There is not another luxury retailer on the planet that targets their customers better through digital channels.

(3) Angela Ahrendts knows upscale – Apple is not a mid-tier player.  Apple does not want to target the mass market. Apple likes to play in the premium space – premium customers.

(4) Angela Ahrendts knows China – and this item BY FAR is the most important.  Apple needs a major push in China.  They have a paltry number of Apple retail stories in China and they have been slow to add more (and no one knows why).  Apple is on the verge of signing a deal with China’s largest telecom carrier – China Mobile – and when that happens, suddenly Apple will have access to 740 million customers to whom they have been locked out from.

In summary, this fills two MAJOR holes in Apple’s overall strategy – (1) China and (2) retail.  I’d call it a bigger grand slam than David Ortiz’s in Boston on Sunday night.  And in the culture of Lean IN, she’ll be an incredible female executive to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer in the Valley.  Apple does not have a female executive in upper management/Sr. VP level (Angela will report directly to CEO Tim Cook) and Apple only has one female board member (Andrea Jung).

I’d say it’s a win-win-win all around.

Something to think about again in early 2014 when Angela lands in Cupertino…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

http://www.shu.edu/academics/profiles/profile-details.cfm?customel_datapageid_148360=349125

 

 

 

 

Campbell Soup CEO Visits Seton Hall University

Hola Todos!

We, in the Seton Hall community, had the pleasure of welcoming Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Co. (and only one of twelve female CEOs in the Fortune 500) as the keynote speaker for our Fall Integrity & Professionalism Convocation (the video of the presentation can be found here). CEO Morrison discussed the future of Campbell Soup Co. but devoted much of the talk discussing her personal journey to the CEO seat.  I felt it was an incredible experience for the Seton Hall students, particularly for my two freshmen sections of BUSI 1000 (Introduction to Business) that are examining the functions of the firm through the lens of Campbell Soup.

The keynote presentation was part of a week of events including a Go Soups and Skillet Sauces tasting on campus.  The following are my nuggets – favorite takeaway or quotes from the presentation:

– – -“You can’t do it all at once but you can do it all over time”

– – – Denise started her career in sales at Proctor & Gamble and spent much of her pre-CEO career in the sale function; one of many Fortune 500 CEOs who rose to the position from the sales function.

– – – “The art of the zig-zag; Look at a company as an opportunity to gain different experiences” Meaning you make meaningful shifts in your career to gain difference experiences.  I really like this one as it echo’s Sheryl Sandberg’s metaphor from Lean In that your career is more of a jungle gym (i.e., there is more than one way to get to where you want to be) as opposed to a ladder where there is just one way up (or down).

– – – “Its not work life balance but work-life integration; you cannot be in balance all the time but you can balance out over time.”  I do not believe Sandberg’s book ever said this so clearly.

– – – “Networking is not fooling around.  Networking is hard work – building relationship for when you need them.”  This echo’s Reid Hoffman’s mantra in The Start Up of You that farming is a much better metaphor than hunting when thinking about networking.

– – – “Integrity and ethics is not an extra curricular activity.  It is who you are.”

– – – “Serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.”  I believe in being more of a Y-type servant leader (here and here) than an X-type command and control leader.

Many thoughts to think about out today…

 

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

Apple Social Responsibility in China: An Update

Hola Todos!

Tim Cook is often criticized and it is not hard to find a “Fire Tim Cook” article in the blogosphere (note: these usually come from the Wall Street financial writers).  I have been writing for some time that Tim Cook has been stepping out from the shadow of Steve Jobs (ex. 2013 WWDC Round upIs Apple Cursed?The Legacy of Steve Jobs).

Another example of how Tim Cook is being different from Mr. Jobs is Apple’s social responsibility in China. In a recent Apple 2.0 Blog post, Philip Elmer-DeWitt called it a complete 180 stating:

The bulk of the work Apple has done began in 2012, after the death of Steve Jobs. It is generally believed that Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has been traveling to China as a supply chain executive for many years, has been supportive of Apple’s cooperation with environmental groups in a way that Jobs was not. Ma said he has not met with Cook but that he has held meetings with other high-level Apple executives.”

The shadow of Steve Jobs still looms large today but as a leader, Tim Cook has been making the CEO office his own and I expect even more Tim Cook fingerprints in the coming year.

Something to check out today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Jobs Book Summary: Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs

Hola Todos!

Soon after the publication of the Steve Jobs biography, its author Walter Isaacson wrote an excellent article  in the Harvard Business Review highlighting 14 leadership lessons he learned from his experience with Mr. Jobs.  While reading though the HBR blog the other day, I came across a presentation by Mr. Isaacson on this very topic. This presentation, as with the article on the same topic, is very nuggetworthy.

Something to check out today…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

Leadership: Leaders See Greatness in Others

Hola Todos!

In an excellent Harvard Business Review podcast, renowned author Dr. Maya Angelou expressed one of the true axioms of leadership.  Towards the end of the conversation, Dr. Angelou was asked about her perspective on leadership.

Question: I’d like to wrap up asking about leadership. You’ve worked with some exceptional political leaders, from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So what you think makes a leader great?

Dr. Angelou: A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees in herself.

I do not think I could have said it better myself.

Something to think about today…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership: Vision without Execution is….

Hola Todos!

I was listening to Steve Case on an older Stanford Entrepreneurial Thoughts Leaders podcast and Steve was describing his tenure with AOL.  While talking about the post-Time Warner-AOL time frame, Steve said an interesting quote that he attributed to Thomas Edison:

Vision, without execution is hallucination.”

While some may not agree that this is actually a Thomas Edison quote, I feel few would argue that quote is without merit.  The best laid plans without follow through will be utterly worthless.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership: The 3 A’s of Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike has an excellent leadership nugget for us this week. Mike’s nugget starts with a Neil Pasricha’s TED talk and I love TED talks.  This particular TED talk stresses the simple things in life that may get overlooked for time-to-time.  In addition, Mike describes in detail the leader’s need for attitude, awareness, and authenticity – three characteristics that drive us toward our passion and each are described below.

Mike, the floor is yours…

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In his TED video, Neil Pasricha, author and founder of the website 1000awesomethings.com, reminds great leaders of the awesome things they have in life – the simple things that they so casually take for granted: “things like waiters and waitresses who bring you free refills without asking, being the first table to get called up to the dinner buffet at a wedding, wearing warm underwear from just out of the dryer, or when cashiers open up a new check-out lane at the grocery store and you get to be first in line — even if you were last at the other line, swoop right in there.”  To experience the ‘awesome’ that life offers each moment, he suggests three A’s.

 

Attitude – “ None of us can predict the future, but we do know one thing about it and that’s that it ain’t gonna go according to plan” Pasricha writes.  There are “high highs” and “lumps and bumps” along the way.  When we have the lumps and bumps, we should remember that we always have two choices: “ One, you can swirl and twirl and gloom and doom forever, or two, you can grieve and then face the future with newly sober eyes. Having a great attitude is about choosing option number two, and choosing, no matter how difficult it is, no matter what pain hits you, choosing to move forward and move on and take baby steps into the future.”

Awareness – Awareness is seeing the world with the eyes a three year old: “I love the way that they see the world, because they’re seeing the world for the first time. I love the way that they can stare at a bug crossing the sidewalk…. I love the way that they’ll spend hours picking dandelions in the backyard…love the way that they see the world, because they’re seeing the world for the first time.  Having a sense of awareness is just about embracing your inner three year-old. And being aware is just about remembering that you saw everything you’ve seen for the first time once, too.”

Authenticity – Authenticity is being and living your “deeply authentic self.” Pasricha shares the story of Roosevelt (Rosie) Grier, famous NFL linebacker of the L.A. Rams, who was 300 pounds and six-foot-five.  He as part of the Rams “fearsome foursome… tough football players doing what they love, which was crushing skulls and separating shoulders on the football field. But Rosey Grier also had another passion. In his deeply authentic self, he also loved needlepoint.”

 

Life is so very short, Pasricha tells us… a scant “100 years to enjoy it… such a short time to experience and enjoy all those tiny little moments that make it so sweet. ” Great leaders choose to capture the awesome in life’s every moment.  Be awesome! Do awesome! Remember the words of Henry Miller, writer:  “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” Life is so very beautiful, and so magnificently awesome.

* Top four awesome things from the website.  Awesome is:

1.       Anything you want it to be

2.       Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now

3.       The far corners of your mind

4.       Today

Have a beautiful day and an awesome week!!!

Mike

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528;

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu

 

 

 

Curiosity: The Not-So-Hidden Talent of Steve Jobs

Hola Todos!

I have written on the power of curiosity (here and here) before here on DigNuggetville and it never surprises me how often this theme comes up in my search for nuggets; particularly the “why” question.

The other day, I was listening to “The Lost Interview” by Robert X. Cringely who had interviewed Steve Jobs in 1995 for an excellent documentary that aired on PBS titled “Triumph of the Nerds.”

In the interview, Robert asked Steve:

 “You’re were 21 – you were a big success – you sort of done it by the seat of your pants – you don’t have any particular training in this (he was referring to strategic management). How do you learn to run a company?”

Jobs paused for 10 seconds and then says:

 “Throughout the years in business, I found something which was… I always asked ‘why you do things’ and the answers you invariably get were ‘Oh that’s just the way it was done.’ Nobody knows why they do what they do.  Nobody thinks very deeply in business.  That’s what I found.” 

Jobs goes on to give an example of early accounting practices at Apple.  Finishing up, Jobs says,

“So in business, a lot of things are done….I call it folklore. They are done because they were done yesterday, and the day before, and so what they means is if you are willing to ask a lot of questions, and think about things and work really hard, you can learn business pretty fast.  It’s not the hardest thing in the world.”

Robert says:

“It’s not rocket science.”

And Jobs confirms:

“It’s not rocket science… no”

 

Something to think about today…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University